Thursday, December 06, 2012

Not quite making it to China Town

We did not leap out of our beds at our customary early hour this morning. it seems we hadn't gone to bed until after one o'clock!

But we made it to breakfast, and we packed and we got organised. The Builder went down to reception to grab a copy of the shuttle bus schedule and came back reporting that the place didn't look after luggage after guests had checked out.  This absolutely stunned Lindsey and me. We have never previously encountered a hotel, or serviced apartments, not even Bed and Breakfast places which have refused to look after luggage on the final day.  Lindsey went down to see if we could stay in the apartment for a few extra hours - and came back to tell us that no we couldn't but that the place *did* have a left luggage facility. The lady who The Builder had asked had been mistaken :-S

So we checked out and dumped our cases and set off on the hotel's shuttle bus for a final wander around.  We had been heading to China Town and got right to the very edge of it before being diverted by the Haven Lobster and Seafood restaurant. The food was absolutely delicious and we had a merry time, sat by the side of the river, eating prawns and peppered beef (and lemon chicken for those who can eat almonds) and watching the boats go up and down. Before heading off for a post prandial stroll through China Town, I went to the loo. And came back to find another torrential thunderstorm had beset us. So we waited under cover until it had passed. And abandoned China Town and went for a wander along the river instead. And quite by chance collected a few bridges.

Click on the bridge to reach the album


Then we caught the shuttle back to the hotel, a taxi to the airport and a plane to Perth, arriving at 2 o'clock in the morning at Ant and Jess's place.  They were, of course, in bed. But the dogs alerted them to our presence and Ant got up to let us in (they were expecting us!).

We enjoyed Singapore.  It's an interesting place. It is a mixture of very Western (very British) and South East Asian. There are four main ethnic groups: Chinese, Malay, Indian and Western and four main languages. The official language is Malay but English is the main working language.  All the road signs are in English. The law courts and parliament work in English.  If you had absolutely no English at all I think you would find it hard to function in society. I was looking at the dates for public holidays in Singapore - and the main festivals of Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Taoism and Hinduism are all represented (so Christmas is a public holiday - but I don't think there is much Christian spirituality attached to it).

Oh - and I did a bit of investigating into the question of supermarkets.  It seems that Cold Storage (which I had thought was just an import store) is one of the leading chains.  The one we found was more akin to a small Sainsbury's or Tesco or IGA so you wouldn't want to do your weekly shop there. When I looked at a map of Singapore itself rather than Singapore City, it became clear that Singapore couldn't possibly feed itself.  No room for farmland at all. So of necessity things are going to be imported.

Still thought it odd to find Waitrose Essentials spaghetti there though!
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